Hafþór Björnsson, the two-time European strongman title winner, better known for his role in the record-breaking hit show Game of Thrones as ‘The Mountain’ (aka Ser Gregor Clegane) has failed to complete a hat-trick of titles. In this year’s iteration of the European strongman competition, the Icelandic giant lost out to Laurence ‘Big Loz’ Shahlaei from Swindon.
In beating the 6ft 7in ‘Mountain’, the 32-year old Shahlaei has become the first Englishman to win the title in 27 years. “I’ve had a rough few years with injuries and to come back and win Europe’s strongest man has just meant the world to me,” he said. “There’s five different events that you have to do. I did a 420-kilo deadlift, which was good enough for joint second and then we did a frame carry – it’s a race and you’re running a 20-metre course while carrying 450 kilos, which is close to 90 stone, and I won that event.”
Running 20m with a Volkswagen Beetle on his shoulders in 11 seconds was what clinched the title for him. “My favourite of the competition was the car walk. Imagine Fred Flintstone running in his car – that was basically me,” he said. “I actually broke the world record on that event. They made the car even heavier this year and I managed over a second off my world record – which was really, really good.”
The 6ft 2in, 145 kg athlete called Björnsson a “great strongman” after winning the title. "But it was my day and it felt really good to win." It has been reported that Björnsson has already put his loss behind him, and is preparing to compete in the world’s strongest man championship scheduled for later this year.Published 20 Jul 2016, 15:04 IST